G. Coleman Woodbury Papers, 1920-1980

Collection Number: 4931

Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections
Cornell University Library


DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY

Title:
G. Coleman Woodbury papers, 1920-1980
Collection Number:
4931
Creator:
G. Coleman Woodbury, 1903-1994.
Quantity:
16 cubic ft.
Forms of Material:
Correspondence, articles and drafts of articles, biographical material, book reviews, research proposals, syllabi, speeches, and other papers.
Repository:
Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Abstract:
Correspondence, articles and drafts of articles, biographical material, book reviews, research proposals, syllabi, speeches, and other papers pertaining to city planning, public housing, and government policy. Includes material on the National Housing Agency, the Illinois Housing Authority, the Redevelopment Council of America, the Institute for Research in Land Economics and Public Utilities, the Washington Center for Metropolitan Studies, and Northwestern University. Correspondents include Clarence Stein and Richard T. Ely.
Language:
Collection material in English


BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

Professor Emeritus G. Coleman Woodbury, age 91, passed away on August 27, 1994 after a long and very distinguished career as a teacher, researcher, and activist in planning, housing, and urban problems.
Professor Woodbury was a Northwestern University Ph.D. and Rhodes Scholar. As a student of the pioneering land economist Richard Ely, Professor Woodbury became interested in housing, and in 1931 became Executive Secretary of the Illinois Housing Commission. The work of that commission led to legislation enabling Illinois cities to establish housing authorities to build housing for low income persons.
In 1933 he became Associate Director of the National Association of Housing Officials, and joined a group of distinguished housing reformers who worked to bring about federal funding for low income housing. Professor Woodbury was one of the three-person team that drafted the legislation that established the nation's public housing program (Housing Act of 1937). He was also a member of the first advisory counsel to the Federal Housing Administration.
Subsequently, he worked with the National Resources Planning Board, and during World War II served as Assistant Administrator of the National Housing Agency, which facilitated construction of housing to support the war effort.
From 1948 to 1951 Professor Woodbury directed the Urban Development Study producing an influential and critical two-volume evaluation of the nation's urban problems and approaches for dealing with them. This study became a classic in the field of urban problems and city planning.
After World War II Woodbury came to the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he remained, except for three years as Charles D. Norton Professor of Regional Planning at Harvard. Initially in Political Science, he continued the seminar established by John M. Gaus. He became chairman of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning when it was established in 1962. His search for an appropriate role for government in dealing with housing and other urban problems was the focus of his teaching. His wide experience and narrative style gave professional students a clear awareness of the nature of city politics.
In 1966 President Johnson appointed Woodbury to the National Committee on Urban Problems, chaired by Senator Paul Douglas. It studied reforms in low-income housing programs, zoning and other land-use controls in building and housing codes, and taxes affecting housing. Its 1968 report, Building the American City, made a number of bold recommendations for dealing with problems of poverty and race in metropolitan areas. Woodbury was called by Lloyd Rodwin of MIT "one of the ablest and most respected of this country's housing and planning experts." He was an unusually effective, applied academic in the Progressive tradition of the Midwest.
--Excerpted from: "On the Death of Emeritus Professor G. Coleman Woodbury: Memorial Resolution of the Faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison." (University of Wisconsin-Madison Faculty Document 1108, 6 February 1995)

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

Correspondence, articles and drafts of articles, biographical material, book reviews, research proposals, syllabi, speeches, and other papers pertaining to city planning, public housing, and government policy. Includes material on the National Housing Agency, the Illinois Housing Authority, the Redevelopment Council of America, the Institute for Research in Land Economics and Public Utilities, the Washington Center for Metropolitan Studies, and Northwestern University. Correspondents include Clarence Stein and Richard T. Ely.
SUBJECTS

Names:
Woodbury, G. Coleman (Gordon Coleman), 1903-1994.
Stein, Clarence S.
Ely, Richard Theodore, 1854-1943.
United States. National Housing Agency.
Illinois Housing Development Authority.
Redevelopment Council of America.
Institute for Research in Land Economics and Public Utilities.
Washington Center for Metropolitan Studies.
Northwestern University.
Lambda Alpha International.

Subjects:
City planning.
Housing.
Public housing.
Housing--Law and legislation.
Housing policy--United States.
Public housing--Law and legislation--United States.


INFORMATION FOR USERS

Cite As:
G. Coleman Woodbury Papers, #4931. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.

RELATED MATERIAL

Forms part of: Lambda Alpha Literary Archives.

CONTAINER LIST

Container
Description
Box 1
Biographical material
Box 1
Pre-professional material
Box 1
Class papers
Box 1
IRS statements
Box 2
Articles and speeches, 1940's
Box 2
USNHA plans
Box 2
USNHA records
Box 2
Correspondence with Arthur Bohnen
Box 2
Mail on evolution of housing policy, 1941
Box 2
Papers re: Urban Redevelopment: Problems and Practices
Box 3
Illinois Housing Authority, 1930's
Box 3
Chicago Housing Authority (Commission), 1938
Box 4
Correspondence and articles, mostly personal, 1925-1928
Box 5
Correspondence, articles and book reviews, 1950's and 1960's
Box 5
Model Planning Law for National Municipal League, 1954
Box 5
Housing and Home Finance Agency, 1954
Box 5
Appointment books, 1947-1950, 1955
Box 5
Personal correspondence 1945-1950
Box 5
St. Lawrence Seaway Project material
Box 6
Appointment books, 1951-1953
Box 6
Articles and speeches, 1940's and 1950's
Box 6
National Housing Agency, 1943-1946
Box 7
National Housing Agency, 1943-1946
Box 8
Coleman Woodbury and Richard T. Ely
Box 8
Institute for Research in Land Economics and Public Utilities, 1927-
Box 8
Ely/Woodbury lectures on housing at Northwestern University
Box 8
Lambda Alpha folder, 1931
Box 8
Research proposals received by CW
Box 9
Housing, 1948
Box 9
Veterans' housing
Box 9
Housing Act of 1949
Box 9
Lectures and family values, 1948
Box 9
Harvard syllabus, 1951-1953
Box 9
Other committees of the early 1950's
Box 10
Redevelopment Council of America, Clarence Stein, et al., 1949-1950
Box 10
Baltimore Redevelopment, Oliver Winston, 1956
Box 10
National Municipal League, 1954
Box 10
Personal correspondence 1950's and 1960's
Box 10
Appointment books, 1961-1970
Box 11
Washington Center for Metropolitan Studies, 1961-
Box 12
Information on city planning departments, especially at Berkeley and Yale in the 1960's
Box 12
Rhodes Scholarship Committee, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund and AAAS
Box 13
Personal correspondence including CW's letters to his mother
Box 14
Personal correspondence, from Northwestern and Oxford
Box 15
Correspondence and reports on various subjects
Box 15
Appointment books, 1957-1961
Box 16
Speeches